Red Cross and United Way Announce Partnership to Prevent Homelessness, Stabilize Families
United Way of Central Maryland announces $750K investment in Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region’s disaster relief services in light of renewed focus on family stability
Baltimore, MD (September 3, 2014) – American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region (Red Cross) and United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) today announced the extension of a disaster response partnership that will provide families with immediate recovery services and long-term support to ensure their lasting stability following an unexpected emergency.
The partnership includes a $750 thousand investment for the fiscal year starting July 2014 by United Way to help underwrite emergency services provided by Red Cross in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties and Baltimore City. The investment helps cover the cost of shelter, food, clothing, emotional support and other immediate needs for, on average, 600 families affected by disaster each year in addition to comfort and cleanup kits to be distributed to those who have experienced damage to their homes and neighborhoods.
“When disaster strikes or a fire happens, Red Cross workforce teams mobilize quickly to ensure families experiencing the confusion and trauma of loss have somewhere to turn,” said Scott R. Salemme, regional CEO of Red Cross. “Our emergency services volunteers conduct interviews with clients almost immediately after disaster strikes, and thanks to the financial support from United Way and partnership with local fire departments and emergency services, we are able to address immediate needs and develop a continuing recovery plan for them.”
Red Cross’ disaster response workforce comprises more than 800 emergency services volunteers and approximately 25 paid staff members.
United Way of Central Maryland’s 2-1-1 Maryland health and human services information and referral help line provides a direct link for families recovering from disaster to additional community resources as needed in the long-term.
“Red Cross and United Way provide critical assistance to families and communities in central Maryland at their most vulnerable moments. Since 1969, United Way has funded a significant portion of the Red Cross’ disaster response work and we are glad to extend this unique relationship,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “It’s partnerships like ours that meet the urgent, unexpected need of families in times of disaster, ultimately strengthening the community at large.”
In addition to this direct client assistance, support from United Way of Central Maryland helps Red Cross cover the costs of volunteer training and equipment as well as preparedness and response infrastructure—such as emergency response vehicles and disaster supplies, including cots, blankets, water and more.
The investment in American Red Cross of the Chesapeake’s emergency response services is the largest single grant being made by United Way of Central Maryland this year, part of United Way’s $8.1 million investment to improve family stability across the region and support the local safety net.
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About United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM)
For nearly 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) has been the region’s human service leader, encouraging all central Marylanders to give, advocate and volunteer. Its mission is to mobilize the community to improve people’s lives. UWCM is dedicated to advancing education, financial stability and health for low-income individuals and families in central Maryland. By drawing upon local knowledge, data and expertise to understand the community’s needs, UWCM is able to identify where gaps exist and concentrate on what works in addressing them – serving as a powerful advocate on critical health and human issues. UWCM supports programs and initiatives in the city of Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. For more information, visit www.uwcm.org.
About the American Red Cross Chesapeake Region
On average the American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region provides help to Maryland families two to three times each day after disasters including emergency shelter, food, clothing and counseling thanks to major support from donors to the United Way campaigns in Maryland. Each day the Red Cross also provides lifesaving blood to area hospitals; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information or to donate, please visit RedCross.org/Chesapeake or Tweet us @RedCrossMD.